Collector calls upon people to show sympathy towards positive people

Hundreds of sex workers, transgenders, health workers and activists of NGOs marched through the main thoroughfares of the city with placards ‘AIDS Prevention - No Cure’, ‘Zero AIDS Cases’ and ‘AIDS-Free Children’ to create awareness among the general public about HIV-AIDS, to mark the ‘World AIDS Day’ on Saturday.

The rally was flagged off by GVMC Commissioner M.V. Satyanarayana at GVMC and it ended at Ambedkar Auditorium on the Andhra Medical College premises.

Addressing participants on the occasion, Collector V.Seshadri said the priority should be to achieve ‘zero deaths’ and ‘zero AIDS cases’ and in the context commended the efforts of NGOs, District AIDS Prevention and Control Committee and all stakeholders in bringing down the incidence of HIV-AIDS in the district.

The Collector stressed that victims of AIDS should be viewed with sympathy and confidence should be created among them to overcome the stigma. With societal support HIV-AIDS patients can live long by taking the necessary medication. He hoped that the Red Ribbon Clubs functioning in colleges and schools will play an effective role in creation of an AIDS-free society.

King George Hospital superintendent K. Madhusudan Rao said the ART centres were giving free treatment to all the HIV positive patients. They were also being covered under the pension scheme to enable them to visit ART centres for treatment.

AMC principal Kalpana Subrahmanyam said the ‘Mamata’ scheme was being implemented to ensure delivery of ‘AIDS-Free Babies’ even though mothers carry the HIV AIDS virus. All pregnant women carrying the virus were being covered under Anti-Retro Viral Prophylaxis treatment.

District TB control officer Sashidhar Kumar said all TB patients were being tested for HIV-AIDS due to their vulnerability to the virus.

Regional Director of Medical and Health Soma Raju emphasised that besides treatment, all stakeholders should ensure a stigma-free climate for the HIV patients so that none would shy away from treatment on that count.

Additional district medical and health officer (AIDS &Leprosy) Ronanki Ramesh presented a report on the status of HIV AIDS in the district.

Aditya degree college students took out a rally to mark ‘World AIDS Day’. Speaking on the occasion college academic coordinator B.E.V.L. Naidu said students should inculcate social responsibility and emerge as leaders of tomorrow. College principal Varadarajan said the students should play a key role in creating mass awareness on HIV AIDS.

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